Is there an affordable long run XLR preamp to amp cable out there?


I'm currently using a pair of Oyaide Tunami XLR cables between my preamp and amplifier(s). I'd love to get an affordable pair of XLR cables to use with other amps 20 feet away, eliminating a need to have 2 complete set ups. No deep pockets here... are there any affordable, good sounding long run XLR preamp to amp cable out there?
gvoth
You’ll need two as this is just a single cable. Very good cable for the money and very well shielded which you’ll want and flexible. Any of the pro cables are pretty good; I just like Canare.

https://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/canare-xlr-lo-z-cable/h79854000006000?cntry=us&sourc...
I needed a long run (25 feet) and Ralph at Atma-Sphere sold me a set at a very decent price.
B
Thanks for the feedback fella!

You betcha , Mogami Gold . Don't look for it to bandaid flaws elsewhere in your system though . Like your speakers , amp , source already ? Then this cable does the job .
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GoldStu25--mogami-gold-studio-microphone-cable-25-foot-xlr-x...
Chances are the sound signals of any recording you play ran through hundreds of feet of Mogami at multiple stages.
Mogami, Belden and Canare are all used on stage and studio. My bet no one knows how many miles are out there and which one is used the most... my guess Belden or a knock off cheaper generic. The three noted are all good but have their limitations. 
I just mixed a live concert using a 100 foot snake and, as usual, it sounded great with no limitations. 
I agree with the Canare microphone cable recommendation above. I had HAVE, Inc. assemble a set balanced IC's (~15' lengths) with premium grade Nuetrik XLR connectors at a decent price.
I’m very happy with 25-foot cables made with Mogami W2549 and Neutrik XLRs, put together to order by Pro Audio LA. (I think the pair ran $105, including freight.) I recently auditioned some "audiophile" $2200 cables and they were not nearly as good sounding as the Mogami cable.

These run between preamp and amp in my system.

Tip: Most pro audio shops (including the one listed) can put red rings onto the XLRs of one cable for only a couple of bucks more.
Whatever Ralph and Victor recommend should work. They make differential balanced audio gear in the form of Atmasphere and BAT products.
Guitar Center stocks the Mogami Gold balanced cables (with Neutrik XLR jacks) in a lot of different lengths, 3ft. to 50ft ($39.95 to $109.95). A 25 footer is $69.95. That microphone cable is the standard in recording studios.
Van den Hull. That's what Pink Floyd used when they finally figured out that cables mattered. Don't know what model.
Atma-Sphere and BAT opinions are of little value unless you use their equipment.
But if you decide to try a pro cable also give DiMarzio a try. Yngwie Malmsteen uses it with his guitars. I tried RCAs only not XLR - OK but nothing special, ridiculously inadequate compared to some Purist and Tchernov that I have.
Atma-Sphere and BAT opinions are of little value unless you use their equipment.
That is not entirely true. Some high end cable manufacturers obtain Mogami wire and re-brand it. The wire is oxygen free and the dielectrics are polyethylene; pretty nice stuff. Overall its pretty inexpensive and thus totally worth a try. FWIW, Neutrik connectors are excellent; some of the best made.

Now the whole point of balanced operation is that the cable shouldn't be a big deal in the overall sound- its a system meant to eliminate interconnect cable artifact (in addition to ground loops). You'd think an audiophile would like that sort of thing- after all, it worked pretty well for all those recordings that people play on audio equipment :)   And some of those microphone signals had to go a long way!

So it is advantageous if the equipment supports the balanced standard. To my knowledge, this is a rare thing in high end audio so we have all these exotic balanced cables as a result. As far as I can tell the BAT stuff doesn't support the standard.
If my recollection is correct, Chesky Audio used to use Nirvana top model cables. And those few Chesky cds that I have do sound quite good. Those primitive pro cables, among other things, do not deal with the matter of vibration caused by the propagating signal. Poor cabling is one reason for poor recordings, balanced or not. But if your active components are not good enough, yeah, get that Mogami or Canare for $50/1000 feet and be happy that you saved a lot.
Ralph, by referring to the "balanced standard," are you referring to the connector pin standard or something else?
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@stringreen: You might want to delete your private email and ask the party to PM you instead.

Yeah @celander, AES File 48 specifies:

- Pin 1 = ground

- Pin 2 = non-inverted signal

- Pin 3 = inverted signal

In Europe, Pin 2 and Pin 3 are the reverse.

@Celander, re the "balanced standard," aka AES File 48, the following is from a post dated 3-22-2013 that Ralph provided in this thread.  Also see my follow-up question later in that thread, and Ralph's response.

A good reason to go balanced is the advantage of being able to run really long interconnects, so you can place the amps close to the speakers and avoid sonic degradation on account of the speaker cables.

The balanced line system was created to get rid of interconnect cable colorations. It works really well! However in order for that to happen the preamp must support the balanced line standards (which have been in place for decades).

Most high end audio balanced preamps do not support the standard! As a result with such preamps you will encounter variable results as far as interconnects are concerned.

Here is the standard:

1) pins are: pin 1 ground, pin 2 and 3 are signal.
2) Ground is ignored- the signal occurs only between pin 2 and 3 (this is where most high end audio preamps have a problem- as soon as there are signal currents in the shield of the cable, the construction of the cable becomes critical).
3) the cable will be a twisted pair for the signal with a shield (tied to pin one only)
4) the output of the preamp should be capable of driving a low impedance load (2000 ohms or less) without loss of voltage, without increase in distortion and without loss of bass (this is the other big area where high end audio preamps have a problem, and also results in cable sensitivity).

Note: this does not mean that the output impedance of the preamp is this value, it means that it can *drive* this value. If there is a question, both the 1KHz output impedance and the 20Hz output impedance should be well below 300 ohms!

The actual standard is 600 ohms and you will have a lot of manufacturers of balanced products tell you that since the amps being driven have a much higher input impedance, that this does not matter. Such is incorrect if you want cable immunity! It is the higher impedance nature of single-ended preamps and amps that spawned the interconnect cable industry. Such is not needed for balanced as long as the standards are used.

Now some people want proof of this sort of thing- after all what I am saying here is that the interconnect should not have an audible quality in the system. So here is the proof. The first manufacturer of high end cables was FMI in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Robert Fulton, the proprietor, created the first cables in which in was claimed that they made an improvement when installed in a system. That was the late 1970s.

However in the late 1950s, the record labels were turning out recordings that are revered to this day (the better your system gets, the better these recordings sound). In many cases the microphone signal had to go over 200 feet to get to the input of the tape recorder- how did they do that without an exotic cable? The answer is the low impedance balanced line system.

So- if you want that same cable immunity that the recording and broadcast industry has enjoyed for the last 60 years, then your preamp should support the same standard. This takes the cable out of the system equation, and also its cost.


Regards,
-- Al 
Anyone tried the Benchmark Branded balanced Canare star quad cables?
Canare is excellent wire - I buy it at Bluejeans Cable.

BDP Europe and US have the same standard pin 2 non inverted pin 3 inverted - Japan use the other configuration.
I don't understand the concern about pin 2 or pin 3 hot when it comes to cables. In either case, pin 1 is signal ground, and if a cable is wired straight-through (pin 2 to 2 and 3 to 3), it will work fine with either system.
I don't understand the concern about pin 2 or pin 3 hot when it comes to cables. In either case, pin 1 is signal ground, and if a cable is wired straight-through (pin 2 to 2 and 3 to 3), it will work fine with either system.
Pin 1 is not supposed to be signal ground!! In a balanced system ground is ignored. The reason for this is to prevent ground loops. Pin 2 should be seen with respect to pin 3 and vice versa. 


Many 'high end audio' products do use pin 1 as signal ground (which is a 'no-no')- this makes the cable more susceptible to producing audible artifacts. This means that you have to find the right cable to make the system sound right, and the balanced line system had that problem eliminated 60 years ago...
To add to Ralph's (Atmasphere's) comment, although the following paper is oriented toward pro audio equipment, I've quoted an excerpt that seems relevant:

https://www.rane.com/note110.html


Since standard XLR cables come with their shields tied to pin 1 at each end (the shells are not tied, nor need be), this means equipment using 3-pin, XLR-type connectors must tie pin 1 to the chassis (usually called chassis ground) -- not the audio signal ground as is most common.

Not using signal ground is the most radical departure from common pro-audio practice. Not that there is any argument about its validity. There isn't. This is the right way to do it. So why doesn't audio equipment come wired this way? Well, some does, and since 1993, more of it does. That's when Rane started manufacturing some of its products with balanced inputs and outputs tying pin 1 to chassis. So why doesn't everyone do it this way? Because life is messy, some things are hard to change, and there will always be equipment in use that was made before proper grounding practices were in effect.


Regards,

-- Al
 
I can help...contact me
OK guys, I understand that I misspoke about pin 1. It is chassis ground, not signal ground. I am glad to have my error corrected for the record, even though it was not critical to the point I attempted to make.

My point was that the talk about pin 2 vs pin 3 in terms of signal polarity is irrelevant when it comes to balanced cables. Since they are wired 2 to 2 and 3 to 3, they will work with either pin 2 "hot" or pin 3 "hot", and there are no special cables needed for one convention vs. the other. Have I missed something there?
My point was that the talk about pin 2 vs pin 3 in terms of signal polarity is irrelevant when it comes to balanced cables. Since they are wired 2 to 2 and 3 to 3, they will work with either pin 2 "hot" or pin 3 "hot", and there are no special cables needed for one convention vs. the other.

Yes, that's correct, Mike.

Best regards,
-- Al

@aberyclark 

https://www.dagogo.com/benchmark-audio-dac3-dx-ahb2-amplifiers-review/

The purpose of this comparison was not to render a final verdict of the Benchmark and SpeakON technology. That would take far more cable adjustments and listening sessions than I conducted. I suspect that a group of listeners who heard the comparison between the Benchmark and Clarity cables may have been split in terms of appreciation of the cabling sets. However, clearly the Benchmark cables did not sweep the results. It is not necessary to use the SpeakOn connectors or Canaire-based wiring for superb results. In fact, I believe one reason the Clarity Cables loom was more appealing overall was because elimination of the prohibited SpeakON connector under the power cord, allowing use of the Clarity Vortex Power Cords versus the stock power cord. It’s not so hard to get an excellent performance from a component, amp or otherwise, when good aftermarket power cords are employed. This is so, even though I didn’t season the sound to preference with mixing in, say, an alternate brand’s power cord, XLR interconnect, or speaker cables. Slight derivations from entire looms of one make can provide even more appealing sound.

My point was that the talk about pin 2 vs pin 3 in terms of signal polarity is irrelevant when it comes to balanced cables. Since they are wired 2 to 2 and 3 to 3, they will work with either pin 2 "hot" or pin 3 "hot", and there are no special cables needed for one convention vs. the other. Have I missed something there?

This is correct. But some balanced gear inverts polarity, and some pro gear I’ve seen has a polarity switch at the XLR input. Point is, occasionally a custom XLR is needed.


You mention 20 feet. If 3 meters is sufficient Emotiva has a sale on their Neutrik terminated 3 meter XLR cables at $22.50 each. They seem well made. I just installed them and didn’t notice any deficiencies.